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Gibernau returns to action in Mugello test

Gibernau returns to action in Mugello test

Former MotoGP World Championship runner-up Sete Gibernau completed 20 laps of Mugello on the first of three days of testing for Ducati.

After more than 18 months away from 800cc riding, and indeed any kind of MotoGP activity, Sete Gibernau was reunited with the world of two wheels on Tuesday in Mugello.

Participating in a hastily-arranged test for Ducati alongside regular test rider Vittoriano Guareschi, Gibernau rode twenty laps of the Italian circuit with the Desmosedici GP9 prototype, and only stopped on account of some unwelcome rainfall. The former MotoGP World Championship runner-up recorded a fastest time of 1'53.7, but the experience itself was more the attraction of the day.

`It has been a really exciting day,´ commented Gibernau. `It´s like jumping back in time almost two years - as if the months that have gone by since the last time I was on track never even existed. Racing motorcycles was my whole life for so many years and now I´ve rediscovered that feeling I feel really good, like I´m home again. The instinct for riding came back straight away, even though I obviously need to get back into the habit of going fast. I´ve realised how tiring it is to grab the brakes and move the bike around where I want it but I´m sure that´s just the rust from not riding for so long. I managed twenty laps on the GP9 before it started to rain and the feeling was good.´

More than just an exercise in nostalgia, the first of the test sessions also served the purpose of canvassing further opinion on the 2009 Desmosedici.

`It is a Ducati in every way - precise but demanding, it requires a physical riding style and it instantly reminded me of the GP7 I tested at Motegi towards the end of 2006,´ reviewed the 35 year-old. `As well as getting my confidence to ride back, today we did a little bit of work on the electronics, in particular the engine braking, because I prefer a different calibration to Vittoriano. I want to say a huge `thank you´ to Ducati for this wonderful gift. For now I´m just going to enjoy the next two days of testing, hope it doesn´t rain, and then we´ll decide together whether there´ll be another opportunity to ride their bike.´

MotoGP, 2008, Ducati Marlboro Team

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